Foreign applicants must prove Russian language and history proficiency

30 Jun 14

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? A new law says that foreign nationals who are applying for residence permits and work permits must prove knowledge of Russian language, history and laws.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals entering Russia on work or residence permits are required to provide documents confirming that they possess sufficient knowledge in those areas.

  • Implementation timeframe: Jan. 1, 2015.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary and permanent residence permits, new and renewed work permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking residence permits or work permits.
  • Impact on processing times: Failure to produce a certificate of proficiency in the required areas could cause significant delays.
  • Business impact: The requirement creates a new burden for placement of assignees in Russia.

Background: The new rule is part of Federal Law 74-FZ, “On Amending Federal Law on Legal Status of Foreign Nationals in the Russian Federation,” dated April 20. Foreign nationals from visa-waiver countries will be required to produce documentation of knowledge at the time of permit application, while foreign nationals subject to visas will have 30 days from the time of their application to do so. To prove their knowledge, applicants may provide a certificate of proficiency, a diploma issued by an educational institution that was in a state that was part of the USSR prior to Sept. 1, 1991, or a certificate of education and/or qualification issued after Sept. 1, 1991 for passage of the final state examination in Russia.

Highly qualified specialists and their relatives, however, will not be required to meet the new requirements. In addition, the law provides other exemptions, including full-time foreign students in accredited Russian educational institutions.

BAL Analysis: Companies and assignees will need to plan for the additional time and cost of obtaining certificates of proficiency from certified centers. The procedures for obtaining these certificates have still not been explained but are expected to be finalized by September.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Russia. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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